NIA files charge sheets against 68 PFI leaders in Kerala, TN cases

The NIA filed the first charge sheet against the PFI members in Jaipur on March 13 and the second in Hyderabad on March 16.

New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday said that they have filed two charge sheets against a total of 68 Popular Front of India (PFI) leaders, cadres and members in two separate cases in Kochi (Kerala) and Chennai (Tamil Nadu).

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The NIA filed the first charge sheet against the PFI members in Jaipur on March 13 and the second in Hyderabad on March 16.

The charge sheets filed on Friday in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the two states where PFI is the most active, relate to separate criminal conspiracies hatched by the PFI to create a wedge between people of different communities through radicalisation of impressionable Muslim youth, providing them with training in handling of weapons, and raising funds for carrying out acts of terror and violence with the ultimate objective of establishing an Islamic Rule in India by 2047.

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An official said that Kerala PFI case was registered in September 2022 by the NIA to probe the criminal conspiracy hatched by the PFI and its leaders and cadres to create a wedge and between people of different communities through radicalisation of impressionable Muslim youth, training them in handling of weapons and raising funds for carrying out acts of terror and violence with the ultimate objective of establishing an Islamic Rule in India by 2047.

In addition to the above mentioned criminal conspiracy, the NIA, in its Kerala charge sheet, also included the connected case of the brutal killing of a Palakkad resident, Sreenivasan, who was hacked to death by armed PFI cadres.

The NIA investigations had shown some of the accused in the PFI criminal conspiracy case (September 2022) to have been involved in the Sreenivasan killing too.

The accused in the two charge sheets filed on Friday were charged under various sections of IPC, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Arms Act.

In the Kerala case, registered in September 2022, the charge sheet has been filed in the Special Court in Ernakulam, against the PFI as well as an organisation and its 58 leaders.

The NIA had arrested 16 of the accused after taking over the case in 2022, while the others were arrested earlier by Kerala Police.

The Kerala charge sheet has been filed after searches were conducted by the NIA at more than 100 locations across the state. The NIA also attached 17 properties as they were identified as ‘proceeds of terrorism’ and frozen 18 bank accounts of the accused during the course of its investigations.

Investigations in the case had revealed that the accused had been conspiring to drive a wedge between different communities and groups living in India, spread the concept of violent extremism and Jihad in India with the objective of dismembering the country and taking it over by establishing Islamic Rule in India by 2047. To achieve these objectives, PFI had established various wings and units, such as ‘Reporters Wing’, ‘Physical and Arms Training Wing’ and ‘Service Teams’.

The NIA investigations also revealed that PFI was using its various campuses, facilities and infrastructure to impart arms training to selected cadres in the guise of Physical Education, Yoga Training etc. They also established a ‘Reporters Wing’ and ‘Service Teams or Hit Teams’ to eliminate their ‘targets’. Whenever required, PFI pressed into service its loyal and highly trained cadres of their ‘Service Teams’, as ‘executioners’ of the orders pronounced by their parallel courts, called ‘Dar-ul-Qaza’.

In a separate case registered and investigated by NIA Branch Office in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, NIA also filed a charge sheet against 10 accused. This case was also registered in September, 2022 to probe the criminal conspiracy, hatched by the PFI and its leaders to divide people based on religious affiliations through radicalisation and weapons-training of impressionable Muslim youth to launch an armed struggle against the Government of India with the objective of establishing Islamic Rule in India by 2047.

The charge sheet, filed before the NIA Special Court Chennai in the Tamil Nadu case, named 10 accused, including Khalid Mohammed, the State Vice President of PFI.

This case was also registered in September 2022, when nine of the accused were arrested by the NIA.

The NIA investigations in the case had shown that the accused had conducted radicalisation programmes to motivate, instigate and recruit gullible Muslim youths, who were then provided weapons training in training camps. PFI cadres used to carry out instructions of PFI office-bearers and leaders to conduct recce and attack adversaries and commit unlawful and violent activities.

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